An episode of the late-1950s variety series "The Big Party". Each episode was a whopping 90 minutes. In this episode, Rock Hudson throws a party, his guests include the multi-talented Sammy Davis Jr. (is there anything he can't do?), Tallulah Bankhead, an under-used Esther Williams, a surprising (by 1959 TV standards) Mort Sahl, and other celebrities. Barbara Britton is also around to give us lots of Revlon commercials, and was the only recurring cast member in the short-lived series.
February 8, 2014 Subject:
the other review here totally misses the point. this is the early days of television, warts and all. yes, it's staged/contrived, anything you want to call it - but it is real and honest and loaded with talent we don't see enough of today. rock's sexual preference was kept where it was kept back then, no need to knock him or the world for it or compare it to how far we have come.
i loved it for all the right reasons, for all the reasons that made that era great. if you look at a red carpet event today, you see nothing but pretty, marginally talented people with plastic surgery and tooth veneers. this was the stuff.
This show seems so contrived. Everyone is trying to be glamorous, hip, sophisticated, and part of the in crowd.
Instead everyone comes across phony, tremendously untalented, corny and worst of all... BORING!!!!!
It reminds me of "The Kardashians" or those "Best Housewives of..." shows today. Yes, it really is THAT phony and boring.
The interaction between Rock Hudson and Esther Williams is laughable knowing what we now know about him. How sad that people could not just be who they are.
But, then no one on this show was being "who they really are".
Mort Sahl's comeny is insanely boring. He tries to be the "intelectual, thinking man's comic". He falls flat and the people on the show don't even pretend to laugh at him!
Sammy Davis, Jr. does his "I am SO cool" act that he always did when he was on these shows. So, any of his real talent is not able to be seen.
The only part I like in the very least was when Talulah Bankhead was on. And, it was kind of sad to see being the butt of the joke over and over.
She was head and sholders far more interesting that the rest of the crowd on this show.
I very much prefer seeing these people in a format like "The Tonight Show". Ms. Bankhead was always very spontaneous and funny on that show.